When I came across this shot by Rivera Notario, of what he called a Honda Partner (actually an Orthia) in Callao, Peru, I was a bit taken aback: this so doesn’t look like any Honda I’m familiar with. It looks like a Mazda or Nissan or something that’s been rebadged as a Honda. Ironically enough, CC commenter Bryce claimed that the Orthia actually was Mazda 626-based, but he was wrong. The Orthia is 100% Honda, on the Civic platform, but with a unique body and sold only in Japan.
Oh, and its partner, the Partner?
This is a very rare case of Rivero Notario not getting an identification perfectly right; the Partner was a stripped down commercial version of the Othario, and something of an analog to the Toyota Probox. Very basic wagons were (are?) still very popular as utility vehicles, for tradespeople, deliveries, utilities and such.
The Partner was built from 1996 to 2006 and available with 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6 L fours.
The name “Orthia” is a variation of the Greek word orithyia, and derives from Artemis Orthia in Greek mythology. It arrived along with its partner in 2002, based on the gen6 Civic. It was soled at Honda Primo dealerships. Power was either a 1.8 or 2.0 L four, and AWD was available. It was replaced in 2002 by the Honda Airwave wagon Stream minivan.
As to what the Orthia replaced, it was the brilliant Honda Shuttle. Now that looks like a Honda!
What’s a bit shocking to me is that we have no CC on this generation of Shuttle, which in AWD form was one of my lust objects back in the day. If I’d gotten one, I’d still be driving it, including for EXBRO. Oh well…
Wow. Never heard of that one before. It gave me very strong Suzuki Esteem vibes from a glance.
It looks like the Toyota Carolla station wagon from that time.
I begin to wonder if Honda had recycled the blue prints of the Corolla wagon? 😉
Bravo – cheapest looking Honda I’ve ever seen, but then, perfect for its market, right?
JDM stripper wagons were built as commercials I had a 90 Toyota Corona van the rear seat had almost zero padding and was designed to be kept folded flat as part of the cargo area log rear axle on cart springs it did have AC and a console fridge and power steer Ive seen one recently still in going order but they are now very rare,
None of those Honda Partners would have come here as there wasnt a diesel version, gasoline is a poor choice for something that runs all day in city traffic just on a consumption basis alone.
Other than the unnecessary and very old-style JDM nose job (a facelift after the sedans and hatchbacks moved to a new generation for ’01?) you can clearly see the cowl, windshield and front doors of a ’96-00 Civic.
It looks like its left drive and Japan cars are right drive ! so it must sold else were ?, too never seen one here in America !
There are many left-hooker cars in Japan; it’s regarded as a status symbol amongst the cleverty-clever.
LHD Mercedes or BMW, yes. Unless “rural mail carrier” is a job there like here, a LHD work-wagon doesn’t seem like a logical buy, or a status symbol.
When I was in Tokyo, I saw many LHD vehicles of widely diverse make and model—just like we see in Tatra87’s posts.
Hello Kitty seat covers and other suchlike were another common sighting, and those certainly don’t seem like a logical buy or a status symbol in a grownup’s car, either—judged by our cultural standards. Theirs aren’t the same.
That’s a new one on me and one I’ll happily add to my knowledge!
On a note related to the commercial Partner variant, such cars are still out there, with Toyota having just released a windowed van version of the Corolla estate here in the UK.
Heres a tip Tatra read the glass not WIKI read the lights and best of all find a 1st gen Orthia Honda did a tidy job of disguising the origins on the 2nd gen above, these are all but extinct here the last one I saw was on a truck load of scrap cars, there are no parts available for them here so keeping an ancient orphan like that on the road is next to impossible now.
It looks like a parallel version of the Civic as the Honda Ascot / Rafaga were from the Accord. In Paraguay there are lots of Toyota Caldina in a very humble finishing, without ornaments as that Orthia and almost all painted in solid white.
For many years Peru was the dumping ground for used Japanese cars that were too old to pass the Japanese inspection requirements. There are a lot of odd (and old) Hondas, Toyotas, Mitsubishis and Nissans still running around in Peru.
The other place they dump them is New Zealand the scraoyards wrecking yards and repair shops are drowning in rubbish that should have never left Japan but they were cheap so they sold no parts to keep them going though when they break down and as someone who is on the highways every day there are plenty of abandonned ex JDM cars roadside.
Reminds me of this Toyota wagon I found on Craigslist out west (USA) a while back (I saved pictures). I’d almost get a job as a rual mail carrier just to drive it in a capacity that good Toyotas are built for.
Yes, that’s what it reminded me of too. A while ago, I checked out the website of a dealer that sells RHD vehicles for rural mail carriers, and those basic Corolla wagons seemed like a very good deal. They’ve stuck in my mind since then.
That’s the Caldina Van, it’s everywhere in the boarder cities between Paraguay and Brazil.
I don’t understand or agree with the title.
It looks exactly as one would expect a mid-90s compact wagon from Honda to look, especially on the JDM. It very clearly shares cues with the EK Civic, Domani and Integra SJ that it shares most of its everything with. It’s the most obviously Honda-looking compact wagon of the era by a very long way.
Interesting though that it ended up in Peru of all places. It’ll have surely passed through any number of ports and trade sites to get there after humble beginnings with some Japanese family lightly dipping their toes into the post-bubble RV boom.
It’s the most obviously Honda-looking compact wagon of the era by a very long way.
Would you care to show me some of those other Honda wagons it “obviously” looks like?
Its predecessor, the Shuttle, looks nothing like this and other “typical” wagons. And its successor, the Airwave (and Partner) are quite distinctive looking too. As are all the Accord-based wagons.
My point, which you seem to have missed, is that Honda actually never built any wagons that look utterly generic like this. Or have I missed one?
The wagons that Honda did actually build were all quite distinctive; this certainly isn’t.
No, I think wires are a bit crossed and we misunderstood each other.
I didn’t mean it in the context your response poses. I meant it’s a wagon that looks like other compact Hondas of the same mid/late 90s timeframe (which I listed and are all sedans – EK Civic Ferio, Domani, Integra SJ), and of all the compact class wagons from any JDM brand available at the time it’s the one that looks most like a Honda (vs. Wingroad, Corolla, etc.), because it looks like the common everyday Honda sedans it’s based on – they share a lot of the same proportional and detail cues. I didn’t mean that it looks like other Honda wagons. I agree the Accords of the time did something very different to appeal to a different kind of consumer, nevermind the Avancier etc. The title only says it doesn’t look like a Honda, which it does, and that’s where my disagreement came from because I read it as being an absolute statement. I didn’t pick up on the allusion that it’s too bland or generic looking to be a Honda. My memory of 90s Honda was a lot of generic stuff (mostly sedans) in their post-bubble bloat. I was a kid in the 90s so these 90s Hondas were amongst my first major exposure to cars, so maybe my perspective on it is different as a result. I wasn’t trying to be obnoxious, tone doesn’t travel in text well.
With regard to other compact Honda ‘wagons’, the preceding Civic Shuttle had similar styling to the Civic upon which it was based (and it’s written in the caption “that looks like a Honda!” and I’m in full agreement on that). The Orthia is in the same method (but with an entirely different result than the Shuttle) similarly styled to the Civic/Domani/Integra SJ upon which it is based, which were of course deeply generic looking as 90s sedans, I’d guess as a more direct attempt to target the weirdly popular and similarly generic Ad/Wingroad and Corolla/Sprinter Van/Wagon/Touring/Carib that were doing well in the RV boom. The Airwave/Partner is slightly less similarly styled to the Fit upon which it is based, but still related, and so on through the Fit Shuttle and current Shuttle that’s currently ending production without replacement.
Never seen that before, for sure it mostly looks like someone glued a Honda grille onto a Toyota wagon.
But it does look a bit like a squished down Gen1 Odyssey minivan.
I really get an Acura vibe from it. It looks like a little brother to an Acura Vigor.
Must say, I thought the thing was a Honda all along, but then, I had owned a Honda from this period, so certain details of windows and such all seem fairly obvious. Put very broadly, they rounded-off their previous squareness in this era, and none of their slightly-puffy products thrilled the eyes as a result.
Did you know you could have your Orthotic in a Type R? It was sold exclusively to those in the REALLY fast delivery business. (The minor appearance mods seen in the link have the quirk of somehow making the Honda-ness more apparent).
Cool to see one of my photos featured, as always! I had never seen these Honda Orthia or Partner before going to Perú and I uploaded so many pictures to Flickr that I’m not surprised I got it wrong, haha. Thanks for the article and the correction!
Ramon the rear of the Orthia pictured look absolutely nothing like the Toyota wagon Tatra mistakenly takes it for Absolutely no resemblance at all Looking in Wiki for info will always get mistakes the Orthia pictured is a gen2 model Wiki doesnt know that neither does Tatra and the gen 1 looks exactly like the donor that was rebadged by Honda with the gen 2 they at least fitted a Hondaesque grill but see one alongside a Civic and you’d know you’ve been made a fool of the Orthia is a size bigger.
Tatra hasn’t weighed in on this at all, Bryce. Do you mean Paul?
And I still don’t see any evidence this is what you claim it to be.
Appologies are due from me ,Tatra is absent from this post though he is more likely to see Orthias than anyone else now, and to Paul I couldnt understand why the Orthia history wasnt more complete well now having searched for it I know, it cant be found its gone, So just to fill in the blanks when that Shuttle was on the market Honda felt the need fo a bigger wagon and casting their net around found someone with surplus capacity and did a deal the result does look vaguely like the Shuttle and could be had with 4wd this creation was badged Orthia when supply of the donor wagons expired Honda had some wagons of their own to sell in the shape of two Accords they had also cobbled the gen 2 Orthia up using aCivic as the base and since the previous version sold quite well they kept the name.
Some of the previous model landed in NZ used in the mid to late 90s but there arent any parts to repair them so theyve gone now the last one I saw was a good ten years ago in Napier and it still wore the dual pump 4×4 system decals thats the model Orthia my BIL was sent to write up for panels to repair it and that was 25 years ago it was a pure Capella wagon body possibly with a Honda engine but the 4×4 used Mazda decals to callout the AWD, the gen 2 doesnt appear to have had 4×4 at least not the ones that washed up here used and I havent seen a stripper Partner version yet,
Bryce, I hate to use this crude expression, but you and your BIL are full of shit. Any sane or clear-headed person that looks at these two wagons can instantly tell that they share nothing except the very generalized shape of wagons typical of the times.
Here’s an Orthia/Partner. Take a good look:
And here’s the Capella. Nothing matches up! All the shapes are different! All the body panel lines are totally different! The glass shapes are all different! The rear side glass on the Capella is much longer than the Honda’s.
That’s because the Capella is a whole class larger than the Orthia/Partner, among many other things. It is a bigger, longer and wider car!
Now will you please stop making a fool of yourself? Or is that what you get off on doing?
This is not unlike the time I had to prove it to you that no, a Camaro front end does not bolt directly to a Monero body. And there have been so many other mistakes/falsehoods from you over the years. I hate to come on so strongly, but we actually have a policy that says you can’t willfully and repeatedly disseminate falsehoods here. CC exists to tell the truth, not ridiculous theories. You were already told that your Orthia/Capella theory was totally wrong earlier. I don’t want you to bring it up again.